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'House of Sand and Fog' author back at UMass Lowell

By Used with permission from the Lowell Sun Online. By NANCYE TUTTLE

LOWELL- Massachusetts writer Andre Dubus III whose novel The House of Sand and Fog was made into a movie that is up for three Academy Awards missed working with students in the classroom.

Now, fresh off the hoopla that goes with being part of a Hollywood film, he is returning to UMass Lowell, where he has joined the English teaching staff this semester as a visiting professor.

Dubus was last on campus as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence in 2001.

The writer, who lives on the North Shore, gained international fame when his novel became a finalist for the National Book Award and was selected for Oprah Winfrey's Book Club in 2001. It was adapted for the screen last year and went on to be nominated for three Oscars, including Ben Kingsley for Best Actor.

But after the excitement died down, Dubus knew he wanted to teach again.

"Working on the film traveling and giving interviews began to feel just like a job," Dubus said in a press release announcing his appointment.

The folks at UMass Lowell liked him a lot and are thrilled to have him back.

"He really enjoyed his experience here," said English Department chairman Prof. William Roberts. "And he was such a joy to have around."

Dubus who has also taught at Harvard, Emerson and Tufts relishes the opportunity to teach here again.

"Curiosity is always the fuel for writing," he said. "The classroom will remind me that it's not so much about me, but about process."